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Small electric motors in the wheels of roller skates, blades, skateboards, Big Wheels, kid's bikes, go-karts etc. An electronic controller that measures speed and slope, with a user (or parental unit) adjustable speed limit.
At normal speed, the motors do nothing except power the controller and
feed it speed data. When max speed is exceeded, the controller uses the motors as regenerative brakes, pulsing the braking so as to supply the necessary amount of braking to maintain a safe speed whilst still allowing forward/downhill travel.
The energy generated by braking could be dumped into a resistive load and wasted as heat, or stored in a small bank of supercaps or batteries (optional upgrade) so you can still coast up that next hill.
The battery option would be called the Up Grade Upgrade.
21Q's inspiration [BunsenHoneydew, Oct 29 2006]
||[phlish] There's a time and a place
for coasting at high speed, and a
time and a place for not. Parents
could buy this system, pre-
installed or aftermarket, to
reasssure themselves that little
Jarod isn't going to lose control on
that big hill between home and
||What I'm proposing is more akin
to cruise control than straight
brakes. Force would be applied
automatically, and only as much
as necessary to limit speed.
Normal, driver-controlled brakes
would still need to be fitted for
||The regen battery storage is just
an option, to (less than 100%)
make up for the lost momentum.
||[21 Quest] Yes, they were inspired
by your electric brakes. I'm sorry,
I should have provided a link and
||[-] for the parental controlled unit. I can see a perfectly valid logic behind the idea, I just think that it would be misused by over-protective parents who wouldn't want to see their precious little angel using a bike/skateboard/whatever at more than a walking pace.
||That and the fact that this idea just strikes me as another 'limit the maximum speed on vehicle x' ideas, only transferred to children's vehicles.
||//Parents could buy this system, pre- installed or aftermarket, to reasssure themselves that little Jarod isn't going to lose control on that big hill between home and school.//
||Thats how kids learn. How are they going to learn to be responsible adults without learnig from their own mistakes. I don't think our children should live in a santised environment like this. How about the good old fashioned "that hurt, I won't do that again!".
||I got serious physical damage while rolling downhill on my rollerskates when I was 13. When I became concious again, I learned that my injuries didn't come from the super speed I achieved (that was exciting!) but from that sudden stop at the end. Who put that wall there, anyways?